Running a marathon isn’t easy, and by no means am I writing about it to put myself on any sort of pedestal. But I have been training throughout the winter, like many runners are accustomed to doing so they are ready for the grueling 26.2 miles in the spring.
I have thoughts and inspirations that come to my mind pretty much every mile — if I only carried a pen and paper to write them down. But there is one thing I do remember, something that has crossed my mind a lot: the fact that running gives me a chance to run and compete with some pretty fast runners, not only Americans but East Africans as well. Let me explain.
All sports fans have idols. Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Adrian Peterson, Jimmie Johnson, Tiger Woods and Rafael Nadal are just a few I can think of at this moment. What are the chances that you are going to be able to meet them? Not very high, which is sad because it would be interesting to spend some time with them.
What are the chances that you would be able to play against them in the sport they have excelled in? Even less likely than meeting them. That’s totally different with running. Running gives you a chance to toe the line with the best of them.
I know what you are probably thinking: “Like an Olympian is just going to show up at the local 5k.” Well, that may not happen to everyone, even though I have been in a few races where former Weber State and Olympic runner Lindsey Anderson has destroyed the field. It’s not that common, but it can happen more often than you’d think.
On Sunday, I will have the chance to toe the line with some of the best runners in the world as part of the Houston Marathon. OK, I won’t be up front with them at all. I just am not that fast. I will probably be surrounded by a bunch of runners wearing compression socks and waist belts full of water bottles. That is fine with me. I am more than happy to be in the back with other people who enjoy running just as much as me. But the point I am trying to make is that I will still be in the same race, same course, same city as some pretty great runners. Some runners I have looked up to for a long time.
The 26.2 will be a journey, it always is, but it will be great. Pain is weakness leaving the body, or so they say. Come next Monday, I am more than sure that I will be sore and not be able to walk all that great, but I hope to finish my second marathon. It may not be life-changing at all, but it will be great to run against some of the best runners in the world. I will be competing against elite athletes, something many people just dream of.